What the Rav said:
In truth, there is no suffering. It’s all just imagination.
Rabbenu already said once that the main thing about suffering is that a person makes himself suffer from the suffering.
Because, the suffering itself is always possible to endure. It’s just that a person makes suffering out of the suffering. He gets confused from confusion, and he suffers from the suffering.
But, the suffering itself, is never actually suffering, and the confusion itself is not confusing.
The confusion a person feels is only that he becomes confused from the confusion.
It only comes to teach a person to break his arrogance, to break the erroneous feeling of “the strength of my own right hand achieved this”.
I mentioned in an earlier post that Rabbenu’s now famous quote, turned into a song, ‘the whole world is a very narrow bridge, and the main thing is not to be afraid’ is actually not what he said. Rabbenu said, ‘…and the main thing is not to scare oneself’ (but I guess that doesn’t rhyme so well…?)
The Rav’s teaching here is on the same theme. We cause our own reality. We can choose how we react to the circumstances which Hashem sends us.
If you ever saw a small child, say two or three years old, fall over – he looks up at his parents before deciding how to react. If the parents look really worried and start fussing over him, he’ll no doubt burst into tears. After all, he’s just learned that something ‘bad’ happened.
If, however, his parents smile at him and waive with a cheery grin, he’ll pick himself up and carry on playing – nothing bad happened here!
We no longer look to our parents for our cues. So, how do we decide how to react?
It’s a remarkable idea to know that even at age 40, we can choose whether we suffer from our suffering!